The Tour de France is a hotbed for transfer activity, with riders, agents and teams busily securing plans and building their rosters for next year.
Richie Porte (Team Sky) has been linked to BMC Racing and Etixx-QuickStep but Rigoberto Uran, Mark Cavendish, Mikel Landa, Dan Martin, Jakob Fuglsang and Michał Kwiatkowski all out of contract at the end of the season too, possibly sparking a series of significant team changes for 2016. Below the high profile riders a number of other riders also looking to secure their futures as teams try to find the sponsorship to ensure their futures
Belgium’s Jurgen van den Broeck has been deemed surplus to requirements at Lotto-Soudal and had been linked to Orica GreenEdge with reports in the Belgian press suggesting that he had already signed with the WorldTour team. However Cyclingnews has been told that the move is now off after the rider and the Australian team failed to agree terms. Team director Matt White told Cyclingnews that, “we were talking to him but he’s not coming to the team.”
Trek Factory Racing’s Luca Guercilena is on the look out for another GC rider to bolster his team for next year’s Giro d’Italia. The American outfit signed Bauke Mollema last year to lead them in the Tour de France.
We need to find a guy who is competitive for the Giro,” Guercilena told Cyclingnews.
“This year went for the red jersey and we won it with Nizzolo but with the ranking and points system we also need to be competitive for GC. We also need more climbers who can help support Bauke in 2016.”
“The aim is to be competitive everywhere so we’re looking for guys who can be strong on the cobbles but we need to be good everywhere otherwise it’s complicated when it comes to be competitive in the world rankings.”
When asked by if he would be interested in signing either Dan Martin, who shares the same agent as Mollema, or Uran who has finished on the Giro podium twice, Guercilena said: “For sure they’re huge riders but we have to see because at the moment the market is quite complicated. I’ve talked to many riders but we’re not chasing a specific one at the moment. It’s not that I don’t want to say any names it’s just that we’re looking at things with a 360-degree view. Then we’ll make our decision in the next month.”
Although riders and team cannot sign contracts until August, the behind the scenes talks, negotiations and informal deals have been slow this season. For Guercilena one of the reasons why teams are hesitating to make major acquisitions is because of the unresolved UCI reforms for 2017 that could see teams having to drop roster numbers in the future.
“At the moment the UCI reform is making the market complicated. Nothing is defined and we don’t yet know if we need to have 23 or 25 riders, if we need a development team or not. We’ve seen the proposals but we need to be sure it’s going to be like this.”
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